The last few weeks have been filled with firsts. After a wonderful week in Ra’anana, we returned home for our first Simchat Torah in Jerusalem. Being a bit more adventurous, we decided it was time to have our first real meal in our home. Since we were still without a refrigerator, we had a very simple meal of pita and peanut butter and honey. After the amazing (and intense!) Simchat Torah dancing at Yakar, it was exactly what we needed!
Monday we went to services at Yedidya, where we were able to experience a Simchat Torah experience similar to Beth David. People there were very nice. It was very different to have Yizkor on the same day as all the dancing. After services were over, we had a nice picnic lunch with Sarah and Yossi and a few of their friends. They were all very welcoming, and we look forward to spending more time with them.
Tuesday was one of the most exciting days for me. Why? The refrigerator and washing machine came! It was a little bit of a downer when I realized that I couldn’t plug it in for 3 hours after it arrived, but Adam convinced me that it would be okay, and so while we waited, we did our first “real” grocery shopping. We bought all sorts of fancy things like milk and orange juice. It was so exciting! Because we really took our time walking around the grocery store, we were able to plug the refrigerator in shortly after we got home. While Adam got it set up, I began cooking our first meal. It was nothing fancy, just fake-meat sauce and pasta, but if felt like we were eating like royalty!
Tuesday night I was blessed with my first Israeli cold. Much like the common cold in the states, the Israeli cold makes you feel tired and it becomes very difficult to breath through your nose. I felt pretty yucky on Wednesday, but it was still an exciting day. We got our internet! It was a wonderful feeling to be reconnected. Since then we have been video chatting with family and keeping up with what is happening in the world.
Thursday was a major first for me. I had a meeting at the American International School in Jerusalem to discuss substitute teaching. After carefully studying the map, I went walking around the city by myself! The walk was nice, and besides getting a little turned around on the school’s campus, I made it to the main office. The principal was very nice, and it seems highly likely that I will be working there as long as I can get my work visa. When I cam home, I was very motivated to look for jobs, so I spent a lot of time online looking at things I could do in the States from here. I found a few online transcription jobs and online tutoring. I applied for a few things but am still thinking about others.
Friday I made my first post to Janglo for Science and Math tutoring. There have been a lot of hits, but I don’t expect much from it since I can only do English and the physics and math terms are different in Hebrew. It felt good to actively attempt to find work though. I also responded to a post about a babysitting job for 2 hours a day, three days a week. That has actually progressed nicely. Today, I meet with the kids and mother. They are extremely nice, and I think it is going work out.
For Shabbat, we had both meals out. We visited friends of friends, all of which were very nice. After Shabbat, we got to Face Time into Leah’s birthday party which was pretty cool. We also hung out with Sarah and Yossi to watch a movie. It was our first real movie night since we have been here.
Sunday we picked up our first box from customs. The entire event was very difficult to deal with, especially since the box shouldn’t have been held by customs in the first place. Anyway, Adam now has some of the math books that he needs for his research. The rest of the boxes have made it to various post offices in the area. Tomorrow and Sunday we will go get them. I also had a lot of family time on Sunday video chatting with my parents, Jason and the kids, and my friend Elayna. I went to the grocery store by myself for the first time too. It wasn’t too bad, which means I’m becoming a little more confident and a lot better at using gestures and single words to avoid long Hebrew conversations.
Monday was the best day we have had so far. Adam spent a solid amount of time at the University and was very productive. It is a great environment for him, and I know that even though he misses teaching, he is finding it great to have large stretches of time to read and think. On Monday, I heard back from the babysitting job and Face Timed with my brother Josh and his family. While we were talking, I saw a lizard climbing on our window. He is the first critter that I have seen in Israel besides mosquitoes (I’ve lost counts on how many bites, but we did by our first bug zapper!). It was very cool! I also completed an entire activity for AP Environmental Science. I felt extremely productive despite the fact that I didn’t do any of the housework that I had planned to do. Oh well, there is always today and tomorrow 🙂
Yesterday and Tuesday, Adam and I went to our first Fulbright program. They occur once a month, and this month we met the US ambassador to Israel, we were updated on the political situation in the middle east by an expert, and we were introduced to the cultural side of the Fulbright program. Then we were whisked away to Ein Gedi. I’ve decided to leave the details of this outing for another post.
A few more firsts that I didn’t mention. We received our first mail; a birthday card for Adam from my Aunt Terri, which was super exciting. I opened my letter magnets and put my first word up on our magnetic door (the refrigerator hadn’t arrived yet). The first word I put up was “delet” which means door. I know, it’s not that creative but this is about learning more than anything. Since the refrigerator has come, Adam and I select 2 words every other day to put on the door. I am supposed to learn them by the next time we switch. Right now we have four words, one of which is the word for ice cream. Yum!
The last first would be today. Our washing machine that was delivered the same day as the refrigerator was hooked up this morning. Therefore, I did my first load of laundry today and it is currently air drying on our rack.
Things are almost all set-up, and we are starting to find a schedule, which makes this whole move feel less overwhelming. I think my stress levels have been the lowest they have been in the past four or five months. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t more bumps ahead, it just means that there should be fewer and smaller ones as we move forward. Here’s hoping!
Until next time…
And yes, we took pictures of almost all our firsts. I know it is silly, but these are the things we want to remember, even if they are mundane.